I'm like Kevin, when I listen to music, I like to listen to a whole album, and very rarely skip songs or just listen to the ones I like. On my mp3 player I don't have any random songs, or playlists, just full albums. And if I don't listen to the entire album, at least I listen to it from the start until whatever point I decide to stop it and listen to something else.
And Metalwrath is right. Most people who do downloading, never intend on buying the album anyway, so I don't think it's really hurting the industry as much as people think. I don't even think bands really make that much money from the sale of a CD anyway.. something like 6%? Maybe 20 or 50 cents? There's the producers, distributors, retailers, manufacturing, packaging and promotional costs etc etc all taking cuts. So unless you're a huge band and sell millions of records, I don't think the loss is very significant, and most bands probably make more money from touring. And if anything, the internet has helped promote bands, not kill the music industry. Free promotion through MySpace Music, Facebook, YouTube, Last FM, and other sites, even free downloads. I've discovered many bands by downloading their albums and becoming a fan then going out and buying them.
As for the physical object, I do still like to own a physical copy of a CD, there's something special about holding the thing in your hands, looking through the nice artwork, reading the lyrics. But because of the cost of CDs and the increasing availability of free downloads, I mostly (but not always) buy CDs if they come as "special editions" i.e with bonus disc with extra material, live DVD, documentaries with making of album and so on, or limited box sets and collectors editions. And I NEVER buy CDs from retail stores here anymore, they're way too expensive, like $40 for a CD/DVD set when I can get the same thing on ebay for $25.. and that's including shipping and after the currency conversion rates. It's ridiculous, retailers are killing the industry, not the internet!!! But you're right, Laura, in your observation that many teens these days have no value in owning the actual CDs, many are quite content with playing crappy audio quality through their cellphones.
Now regarding sound quality. I can't tell the difference at all between 320kbps mp3 and CDs, when I download music I do like to go for the 320kbps, of course there's some compression, but the loss in quality, if any, is soooooo little that you've got to be extremely nit-picky or have 100% perfect ears to even notice it. There are so many variables that add to the musics audio quality though.. the speakers, audio player etc, so I mean if you're playing a CD or 320kbps mp3s through cheap or budget devices they're gonna sound crap anyway. CD vs. LP, personally I prefer vinyl, I love the sound quality, it's more authentic and not so digitalised, if you know what I mean. But thats my opinion.
Anyway, I'm not an expert on this stuff, so try not to be too critical
Those are just my thoughts.